Modern prophet goes global

The Economist has a good article about the Mormon church. It mentions that the church has grown tremendously since it was first founded in New York by Joseph Smith and now has more members outside the U.S. than inside. There’s also the debate of whether to call it a worldwide church or a U.S. church with foreign adherents.

Rodney Stark, an American sociologist, pronounced 20 years ago that the Mormon faith was on the way to becoming the first world religion to be founded since Muhammad; he thought the number of adherents might exceed 260m by the second half of the 21st century.

Since then, the rate of growth has eased a little, though it remains impressive compared with many Christian denominations.

The article mentions Mitt Romney and Brandon Flowers as prominent Mormons.

It also mentions that church membership in Brazil (where I spent two years as a Mormon missionary) and Mexico constitute 1 million of the Church’s almost 13 million members.

Good article.



2 thoughts on “Modern prophet goes global”

  1. Rick, that’s a good point. I think the “why” question is really important. If we just skim over it, we miss something big.
  2. In the article I liked these paragraphs where “why?” is asked:

    Why do the Mormons attract followers while many other religions decline? Is it the aura of American prosperity, health and sobriety, which seems so appealing in an African village or a Mexican slum? Mr Davies [a professor at Britain’s Durham University] thinks the most compelling feature of Mormon teaching is its confidence that death has been conquered: believers look forward with certainty to eternal life (with their spouses), and by conducting posthumous baptisms they can also save their dead forebears. For Margaret Barker, a Methodist scholar, part of the faith’s power lies in its insistence that prophecy and divine revelation did not just happen once, a long time ago: the flow of messages from God is still in progress.

    If more were to sincerely ask “why?”, questions would be answered and the membership would swell even more. A very enjoyable read.

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